USB pendrives – those little things in your pocket that can sometimes save your skin. They are so small, yet they can be so extremely useful.
So what happens if you want to try out a GNU/Linux distro, but you don’t want or can’t use a CD/DVD – the answer is pretty simple – you make a LiveUSB.
If you are burning Ubuntu (or any of derivates) you could use Ubuntu’s built-in “Startup Disk Creator”, however you can’t burn other distributions with it.
Other options available include Unetbootin – a more advanced tool which allows you to choose between a auto-download many Linux distros from within the app, or use an already downloaded image of your choice. If you have access to a Windows machine, LiLi (Linux Live USB Creator).
This article is however to present you with a third choice – an app that is more powerful than the two above written ones. Meet LiveUSB Install.
LiveUSB Install, which is written in PyGTK, may be a powerful tool for ‘burning’ LiveUSB’s but it is still very easy to use.
So here’s what you get by installing it:
- Ability to choose among hundreds of templates for which the app will download the ISO files and record them on the USB stick without you doing anything
- Ability to manually select an ISO and record it (See a full list of support distros here)
- The app is multi-platform – works for both Linux and Windows
- Create “persistent” recordings of Ubuntu (and other Debian derivates), which means that any settings you do in live mode stay preserved after you reboot and remove the pendrive
- Ability to format thumb-drives bigger than 32 GB
- And more
Using the app is not hard at all. All you have to do is to plug-in a USB and then start the app. From here you can choose between several options:
- Burn a LiveCD/DVD to LiveUSB
- Use an .ISO file you’ve downloaded
- Choose from a template
- Choose one of various modes (e.g. to create/reinstall a custom Syslinux Config or make a WinGRUB ISO Chainloader)
Installing LiveUSB Install in Ubuntu
Just like using the app installing it is also straightforward.
If you are running Ubuntu (or derivatives such as Mint) you can either download and install the standalone .Deb file installer.
The application is open-source and its code is available via Launchpad @ launchpad.net/~skss/live-usb-install/live-usb-install